Classical: Felicity Lott/ Orchestre de la Suisse Romande

La Voix Humaine/La Dame de Monte-Carlo, Harmonia Mundi
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The Independent Culture

Poulenc and Cocteau's two suicidal scenas are generally taken to represent extreme youth and old age but, as Lott's subtle characterisation shows, romantic folly is not restricted to the very young nor is regret the province of the very old. This is Lott at her finest: the synthesis of a lifetime's experience in Poulenc's sharp, clever style. Her complex interpretation of La Voix Humaine could well prove to be definitive. In painting the caller with the fading beauty of a Marschallin, layers of loss beyond the mere loss of a lover emerge. How serious is she? We don't know but for once we are made to care. A smart, perceptive accompaniment by Armin Jordan and the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande adds further substance. La Dame de Monte-carlo is here more of a companion piece than a contrast: brittle and touching despite the inherent snobbery and cruelty of the text. A glamourous, mature performance.